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The Best Ways to Fuel Your Workout

7th October 2022

7th October 2022

By Innermost

Your body is your vehicle. You have to fuel it properly, especially when working out. This means that you have to eat the right foods and drink the right fluids, in the right amounts, and at the right times in order to have full energy for your workouts. Don't worry, we'll unpack...

For great workouts, you need to see the big picture. Don't just focus on the workout itself, but also on the pre and post-workout periods.

Today we're going to be talking about the best ways to fuel your workout, so keep reading!

Best foods to fuel your workout

Before your workout

Over 50% of a good workout is about nutrition. As crazy as it seems, it's true. If you don’t fuel your body properly, you won’t have the energy that you need to perform at your best. 

Keep in mind that adequate food and fluid should be consumed before, during, and after exercise, to help maintain blood glucose concentration during exercise, maximise exercise performance, and improve recovery time. This will help balance fluid losses as well. You need to make sure that you’re eating the right amount of macronutrients to ensure your body has enough fuel to sustain and enjoy the workout and its following recovery. These macronutrient values are different for everyone, so just check which are yours instead of following anyone else.

Now, another thing to keep in mind is the timing of your meals. Especially if you’re planning on eating before your workout. To maximise the results of your training session, try to eat a full meal containing fat, protein, and carbs, at least 2 to 3 hours before your exercise. If you’re not able to do so, no worries. If you’re eating 45 to 60 minutes before your workout pick foods that are simple to digest, this will help you prevent any stomach discomfort while exercising.

Needless to say that you need to stay hydrated at all times if you want to achieve better performance since your body needs water to function. Good hydration sustains and even enhances performance, while dehydration can do the opposite, which is to decrease your performance.

If you’re doing an intense workout, it’s recommended to consume water and sodium before the exercise to improve your fluid balance. Also, as a post-workout, it’s recommended to drink electrolytes.

After your workout

Refuelling your body after exercise is crucial to enhance performance, optimise recovery, and, of course, see results.

During exercise, your body breaks down its muscle glycogen stores for fuel. Your muscles become partially depleted of glycogen, and some proteins in your muscles may also get broken down or damaged. It’s crucial to replace the depleted glycogen stores, prevent muscle breakdown, and encourage muscle growth after exercise. Post-workout nutrition will also help enhance recovery which will help in the following workouts.

In case you were wondering, timing is important for your post-workout meal as well. After a workout, there’s an anabolic window, which is a period of time after the exercise that leads to the best recovery. Usually, this goes between 45 to 60 minutes post-workout, so make sure you grab a snack or meal packed with the nutrients you need no more than 1 hour after your training session.

The main nutrients that you’ll need are protein. They provide your body with sufficient amino acids to help repair and rebuild the muscle. It will also help to build new muscle. Consuming 20-40 grams of protein will maximise your recovery after a workout.

You will also need carbs to help repair muscle damage.

The best supplements to support your fitness goals

Another great way to fuel your workouts besides getting on top of your nutrition is by taking the right supplements. Depending on your needs, the type of training you practice, your sleep quality, etc. you’ll need different kinds of supplementation. The ones that we recommend the most are:


In case you need a little extra protein, a good protein shake or smoothie is always helpful. Make sure to read the ingredients label and check all of the ingredients. When possible try to go for the one that has less (or none) sugar, artificial flavours, and unnecessary ingredients. Also, try to choose the one that fits your needs and goals. So, for example, if you’re trying to slim down, choose a protein that contains ingredients to support this, such as The Lean Protein - rather than a muscle-building one. You can take it either before or right after your workout.

A pre-workout 

The best snack for long-lasting energy with added MCTs for your workout. Funky Fat Food's chocolate contains quality ingredients that are all organic certified. MCTs (Medium-Chain Triglycerides) are medium-length chains of fatty acids that, unlike long chains, go straight to the liver and are absorbed faster, improving mental clarity, memory and performance. Just like protein powder, you can take it before or after your workout


Creatine is a substance found naturally in muscle cells. It helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise. So by taking a creatine supplement you will be helping your muscles become stronger and probably gain muscle mass. You can take it during the day, there’s no need to take it right after the workout.

A post-workout

Recovery supplements are as important as the others. They help support the recovery process, reduce inflammation, and regulate hormone activity. Make sure that the ones you chose are made with clean ingredients. 

Rest and recovery

Last but certainly not least, rest. In order to fuel your workouts, you need to rest. By rest, we mean that you should at least take 1 or 2 rest days per week. You can make them active rest days if you want to, this is totally up to you, but keep in mind that it's important to be gentle with your body. Besides the rest days, it’s important to have rest when sleeping. Having a good quality of sleep and sleeping between 7 or 8 hours per night will benefit your recovery process.  

Usually, the rest is underrated or fully ignored. But, if your body is tired, no matter how well you’re doing with your nutrition, you won’t be able to give the best of yourself when exercising. When you’re well rested your muscles have the time to actually recover, repair, and deflate and that's what will give you the power for your next workout.

Need Expert Advice?

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From the Bedroom to the Gym: Is Your Sex Life Affecting Your Workout Performance?
The relationship between sex and workout performance is one that’s long been debated by scientists and fitness fanatics alike. It’s complicated and multifaceted, so answering the question of whether your sex life is affecting your training is difficult. That said, today we’re going to take a look at a variety of evidence, both academic and anecdotal, as well as several different scenarios and at least try to reduce some of the mystery around the subject. First, it helps to understand what’s actually happening to the body, both physically and psychologically, during both activities.   The Effects of Sex on the Body Sexual activity causes several changes to occur in the body:   Physical Changes That Occur During Sex During sexual activity and the lead up to it, the human body undergoes a process known as the sexual response cycle. This is the case for both males and females, though the cycle can be highly individual and may not be the same each time for each person. Describing the full sexual response cycle is beyond the scope of this article, however it consists of 4 phases: Desire Arousal Orgasm Resolution Factors such as elevated heart rate, increased blood flow and pressure and heightened muscle tension all come into play. If you’d like to read about the sexual response cycle in more detail, check out this great article from Cleveland Clinic.   Psychological Changes That Occur During Sex Several psychological changes occur both during and after sex. Most notable are the release of endorphins and oxytocin, which are associated with improved mood and a better sense of wellbeing. These are also responsible for reduced stress levels, which brings a multitude of additional benefits that are of particular interest to those of us participating in regular training and exercise. Cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, is catabolic in high levels, meaning it can cause the breakdown of lean tissue. So, whilst it is unclear whether sex itself affects workout performance, the reduction in stress levels it may bring is definitely beneficial for preserving our results!   The Effects of Exercise and Training on the Body Exercise and training also cause the body to undergo a number of changes. These occur both during and after the physical activity. There are in fact a number of similarities in changes that happen during exercise and sex:   Physical Changes That Occur During Exercise The physical changes that happen in the body vary based on the type of exercise being undertaken, however, there are some that are common to exercise in general: Increased heart rate Increased blood flow, especially to the muscles Faster, deeper breathing due to additional oxygen needs Heightened activity within the circulatory, respiratory, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems A full summary of the changes that occur within these systems can be found here. More aerobically demanding exercise will, of course, place greater emphasis on the circulatory and respiratory systems as well as causing fat to be metabolised as an energy source. Resistance training, which often relies more heavily on the lactate and creatine phosphate energy systems, instead promotes greater muscular and endocrine (hormone) activity. Note the common physical changes between sex and exercise here, as they do crossover!   Psychological Changes That Occur During Exercise The psychological changes that occur during exercise are similar to those experienced during sexual activity and are mostly related to the release of endorphins and other ‘feelgood’ hormones. These help to regulate mood, and it is common knowledge that frequent exercise and leading an active, healthy lifestyle promotes a feeling of wellbeing.   Does Sex Affect Our Workouts? This is where things become complicated. Though extensive studies have been done on the subject, the results of these have varied massively. We must also take into account the experience of individuals, and this anecdotal evidence again has huge variance. Let’s look at both:   Sex and Training: What the Science Says Scientific studies on the relationship between sex and training are contradictory at best. There’s no denying the positive benefits of both activities, particularly from a psychological perspective, but as for the effect of sex on actual performance in the gym the results are inconclusive. A study, published in April 2021, by Kirecci, Albayrak and co. examined the effects of sexual activity of 50 men in the 24 hours prior to training on lower body strength. The study measured effects by having the men perform 3 separate squat sessions, each at the same time of day. Each of these sessions occurred after participating in or abstaining from sexual activity the night before. The men performed 5 sets of 5 repetitions of their maximum squat weight during these sessions and the difference in weight lifted was observed. The study concluded that ‘sexual intercourse within 24 hours before exercise [has a] detrimental effect on lower extremity muscle force, which suggests that restricting sexual activity before a short-term activity may be necessary.’ Aside from this study, most others found either no notable relationship between sex and athletic performance. A meta-analysis of 9 crossover studies, conducted by Zavorsky and Brooks and published on 16 September 2022, confirms this. The analysis concluded that ‘The results demonstrate that sexual activity within 30 min to 24 h before exercise does not appear to affect aerobic fitness, musculoskeletal endurance, or strength/power.’ This is perhaps more notable, because these studies incorporated different types of exercise and were not restricted purely to a strength/power based activity like squats.   Anecdotal Evidence: What About the Experiences of Real Gym Goers? The anecdotal evidence is, as expected, highly individualised. However, there tends to be a bias against the results of most studies, particularly in those participating in sports involving strength and aggression. For example, many fighters claim that they perform better when they abstain from sex in the days leading up to a contest. Similarly, bodybuilding forums are full of debate on this topic and many claim they note a significant decrease in motivation to train at maximum intensity after sexual activity. It has been hypothesised that this may be due to a downregulation in testosterone production after sex; during orgasm the mineral zinc is released in the body and this is also a precursor for natural testosterone production in the body and may, therefore, provide some reasoning as to the experience of many trainees.   Key Takeaways The relationship between sex and workout performance will always be a complicated one. The effects of one on the other in terms of physical fitness and, in particular, mental wellbeing, are clear, but when it comes to actual performance this appears to be highly individual. We’d advise doing what feels best for you but not worrying too much about it. Instead, prioritise your nutrition and make sure you’re fuelling your workouts properly. While you’re here, why not take a look at the Innermost range? We’re proud to be completely transparent about the ingredients in our products and we always ensure they’re of the highest quality. Check us out, and be sure to get in touch if you have any questions! Read more